Wheelchair-friendly costumes make Halloween fun for everyone
Some trick-or-treaters will have majorly tricked out costumes this Halloween thanks to a project out of Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre. A group of parents, staff, and volunteers has been hard at work creating mobility device-friendly outfits for patients of the centre.
“I’ve been creating wheelchair-friendly costumes for my daughter, Molly for a few years,” says mom, Christina, who has taken a leading role on the project. “When Lindsay approached me asking if I’d be interested in taking part, I knew I would have lots of experience to share with others.”
Lindsay Bray, a clinical leader in Children’s Developmental Rehabilitation Program, launched the group so parents could work together with volunteers to create costumes that fit around mobility devices, like wheelchairs and push chairs. They’ve been meeting every Friday for the past several weeks to build the costumes which include a fire engine, a panda cage, and a DJ booth. Materials were purchased thanks to a donation from Core Entertainment through McMaster Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Making fun accessible for everyone
Christina’s expertise has certainly come in handy. Building costumes that fit around motorized wheelchairs and don’t interfere with wheels or steering is a challenge. So is trick-or-treating when you have a physical disability.
“When we go trick-or-treating as a family, it’s usually me going up to the door because many houses have steps or other barriers,” says Christina. “I get strange looks when I’m pointing back at the sidewalk where Molly is. People are usually nice about it once they understand, but it can be frustrating.”
In addition to the costume project, RJCHC hosted an accessible Trunk-Or-Treat event last week, and is partnering with Eastgate Square on an accessible indoor trick-or-treating event on Halloween night.
“We try to provide as many opportunities as possible for families to enjoy all the best parts of being a kid,” says Lindsay. “Building friendships and enjoying social activities is a big part of childhood, and we’re here to enable our clients to both of those things.”